Namikango Mission

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Our Trip to Malawi

Dec 9, 2016

The day finally arrived for my trip to Malawi – Monday, July 11, 2016. I have been looking forward to this for several weeks and made several lists so as not to forget what I need to travel - especially the lessons I had prepared. I put them in my hand luggage along with my Bible . . . I want to keep them close to me. I will soon be meeting up with my son Mark and his family and others making the trip.

With all preparations complete we made the long flight and finally arrived in Lilongwe, Malawi. Malawi was our beloved home for many years. But, Lilongwe was still several hundred miles from our old home in Northern Malawi.

A man had promised to rent us his car while we were in Malawi. He came to the airport in a broken down car and told us that the shocks needed repairs before it was drivable and he had no money for repairs. Mark gave him $200 to get new shocks put on it. Now, with new shocks in place, we headed out. Before we got up to the main road we ran out of gas. The owner had not put any fuel in the car - it was EMPTY.

We were stranded and did a lot of praying. After a while, friends finally brought a gallon of gas to get us to a station where we could fill up. We all said, "Oh well, this is life in Malawi" as we drove on.

That poor car made all kinds of noises and it shook when we hit a bump or a pot hole. We wondered if we would ever make the six hour trip to Mzuzu. By 6pm it was dark and Mark felt responsible for our safety. At one point the rear shock came loose and the rod came clear through the floorboard near where Erik was sitting.

Smoke started coming up in the car and we were afraid it was going to catch on fire. Mark said we needed to limp on slowly to Mzuzu. That was still 90 miles to go.

Meanwhile, Mark called some friends in Mzuzu who were waiting for us and he told them what was going on. They took it upon themselves to arrange for us to be picked up by an Elder in the church who was a former Ambassador to Mozambique. He picked us up and said he would take us all the way to our destination in northern Malawi. We drove most all night and got there at 3:30am. We were scheduled to teach that same day some 50 miles away. We did sleep about 3 hours and then went on to our appointment. This dear Elder left us his big van that would seat our entire team and he took the bus back to Lilongwe. (What a friend he is.) I might add right here that our friends in Mzuzu had sat up the whole night worried about us and they had tea and scones waiting for us when we arrived at 3 am. (More exceptional friends.)

Our first appointment was at Kemelton's village and it was just awesome . . . . More later,

Ann (Thiesen) Barganies